You can learn a lot about cultures by how they chose to express themselves through idioms. The metaphors captured by the idiom often can give a greater insight into the cultural values of the language user. Let’s compare two idioms—one from America and the other from Asia. From America “The squeaky wheel gets the grease.” […]
The traditional view of learning is that it is the transmission of truth from one human mind to another (see here for my take on this subject). In modern terms it is all most like computer file transfer protocols exchanging data from one knowledge retention source to another. Therefore if there is an improper transmission of […]
Teachers work very hard to remove randomness from classrooms, either through organization of time, activity or the direct assignment of groups to undertake the activity. A classroom is often only seen as effective when the random elements are minimized. But is that always the best option?
Learning is very similar to the wind if you are experiencing it you can feel its effect but if you are removed from it like, say, a teacher, it is an invisible force acting on the landscape that you can only glimpse through a window.
Most beginner level books in English language teaching start with some form of basic introductions and then move on to everyday concrete expressions. This is in line with the Common European Framework of Reference (CEFR) levels A1 and A2.
Very few students enjoy assessment. It is stressful, frustrating, and often viewed as a necessary evil. It doesn’t have to be. Gamification can provide a different way to look at assessment, and to better design the process. In the context of education, assessment is quite definitely a game. It maps almost perfectly onto the three […]
Perhaps it’s the word ‘drill’ that fuels my dislike of grammar drills, as it conjures up in my mind visits to the dentist. Often painful, repetitive and while good for us, definitely not fun. In many regards, this also describes grammar drills in language acquisition. In psychological terms it is using a brute force method […]
Students like to know where they stand in relation to each other, and in relation to their grades. The ability to see where you currently are, relative to your skill in a subject, provides excellent feedback and goal setting opportunities. However this knowledge can be a double-edged sword when it comes to student performance. This […]
What is a game? To understand gamification and its impact on teaching this is possibly one of the most fundamental questions. It is also surprisingly difficult to answer. One possible way of answering is to look at the purpose games fulfill for humans. Games allow us to do many different things. They let […]
Gamification is a relatively new term. I believe it was coined by the Conundra consulting company in 2003. Given its relative newness, people are still trying to define what gamification is and, more importantly, what it is not. Karl M. Kapp, in his book The Gamification of Learning and Instruction, defines gamification as “using game based […]